The Mountain, Denmark / JDS + BIG Architects

Team                                : PLOT, JDS, BIG, Moe
Location                         : Copenhagen, Denmark
Architect                       : BIG Architects
Area                                 : 33,000 sqm
Year                                 : 2008
Project Architect    : Jakob Lange
Project Manager     : Jan Borgstrom
Engineering               : Moe & Brodsgaard
Construction            : DS Elcobyg A/S /PH Montage
Client                            : Høpfner A/S

The Mountain is the 2nd generation of the VM Houses - same client, same size, and same street. The program, however, is 2/3 parking and 1/3 living. What if the parking area became the foundation of the homes - like a concrete hillside covered by a thin layer of housing, cascading from the 1st to the 11th floor? Rather than doing two separate buildings next to each other - a parking block and a housing block - we decided to merge the two functions into a symbiotic relationship.

The parking area needs to be connected to the street and the homes require sunlight, fresh air and a view. Thus all apartments have roof gardens facing the sun, amazing views and street parking on the
10th floor. The Mountain appears as a suburban neighborhood of garden homes flowing over a 10- storey building – suburban living with urban density. The Mountain includes a number of sustainable
technologies. Most notably, all the rainwater on the site is collected in an underground cistern and then recycled to be used as drip irrigation throughout the terraced planters.

Mountain Dwellings

The roof gardens consist of a terrace and a garden with plants changing character according to the changing seasons. The building has a huge watering system which maintains the roof gardens. The only thing that separates the apartment and the garden is a glass façade with sliding doors to provide light and fresh air.

The building is always entered through the garage. Residents can drive up to their floor, then cross a suspended industrial metal-clad concrete gangplank to reach their hallway. If they arrive by foot or bicycle, they enter by walking up a set of metal stairs that climb from south to north over the parking lot or riding Denmark’s only funicular-style inclined elevator.

At night the Mountain Dwellings façade is lit from the inside and appears as a photo negative in different colours as each of the floors in the parking area is lit in a different colour. The interiors of the parking area are decorated with wildlife murals designed by French artist Victor Ash, so that the space can also be used for parties and events.


Video: Mountain Dwelling Elevator

Cite: (2017). BIG | Bjarke Ingels Group. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Nov. 2017].

Dwell. (2017). Mountain Dwellings Urban Development in Copenhagen. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Nov. 2017]. (2017). Cite a Website - Cite This For Me. [online] Available at: [Accessed 18 Nov. 2017].

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